Wrong email address or username
Wrong email address or username
Incorrect verification code
back to top
Search tags: Alexandra-Haughton
Load new posts () and activity
Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2016-06-14 19:23
DNF at page 101 of 325
Summer Rain - Amy Jo Cousins,Sarah Frantz,Alexandra Haughton,Shari Slade,Audra North,Charlotte Stein,Cecilia Tan,Molly O'Keefe,Ruthie Knox,Mary Ann Rivers

This anthology was published to raise money for the charity RAINN. The 99 cents price tag was to cover the cost of producing the book, with author royalties going to the charity.


I should have just written a check to the charity rather than buy/try to read this anthology.


I stopped maybe halfway through the third story because I was sick of seeing some of the plot/character storylines go into direct opposite of what the charity stands for. This is Exhibit A, B, all the way to Z why I don't like contemporary romance anymore.


Story #1: Redemption by Ruthie Knox

Two sad sacks MCs fuck a lot (seriously three of five chapters had pages long sex scenes - including the first scene of first chapter). In the author note prior to the start of the story, the author had to clarify that the first sex scene was consensual role play and not rape.News flash, dear authors - when you have to clarify something like that, maybe that should signal to you to rewrite the scene was it stands on its own re: consent.


No plot, no character development. Reeks of two desperate people who decide to stick together but they have no other/better choices and they are too lazy to make their lives better. This was the best of out the three stories.


Story #2: The Heart of It by Molly O'Keefe

Gabe is a survivor of childhood sexual abuse who can't seem to have sex unless black out drunk. He wants to change this because it is keeping him from developing intimate relationships with women. So he hires a prostitute from a high-end call girl service to help him get over his fear of sexual intimacy while being sober. The story begins on the fourth date (one date a week); each of the prior dates ended with him stopping the sexy times during foreplay because he can't handle it. This fourth date finds Elena losing her patience (even though he pays her rate) and wanting to fuck this guy's brains out. So she pushes the boundaries (even when he says no), really hard, to "help him". They end up consummating the trade and he "feels better" - rather he and she feels deeper feelings for each other so they both back away. Elena has an angsty back story that is more than OTT. It made me roll my eyes rather than sympathize with her. A little angst goes a long way. They met again 18 months later and agree to meet later that day for a meal.


I felt so uncomfortable reading that sex scene due to Gabe's very visceral fear and self-loathing and Elena's pushing. The author tried to make this story all about the magic of the right pussy fixes everything, when I feel Gabe needs a lot more therapy of the clothing mandatory/sit on the couch and talk kind. Also the writing is full of crappy descriptions and has continuity errors.


Story #3: Sacrifice by Cecilia Tan

This is first person POV, alternating between the hero and the "heroine." I have heroine in quotation marks because Hero is a demigod and the heroine is the village's sacrifice to him in order to reverse the weather that is bringing about drought and famine. First the author has the sacrifice brought to the demigod naked and unconscious due to drugging. Next the demigod goes all gynecologist on his sacrifice by examining her maidenhead (while unconscious!!) and his thumb slips and he accidentally rubs her clit and makes her moan. A while later, after copious amounts of info-dumping about the stellar sexual prowess of the demigod, he remarks that his promise to protect the village's farming industry includes sex with sacrifice that is akin to a furrow to plough. There is also a lot of "othering" going on in this story, as the sacrifice is from a land/society/tribe far removed from the village under demigod's protection. And that is where I stop.


-1 zillion stars.

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
review 2014-08-05 15:26
Great Stories for a Great Cause: Buy This Book
Summer Rain - Mary Ann Rivers,Ruthie Knox,Molly O'Keefe,Cecilia Tan,Charlotte Stein,Audra North,Shari Slade,Alexandra Haughton,Sarah Frantz,Amy Jo Cousins

I don't read a lot of short stories, so I always forget how much I like them. I respect the skill it takes to make a reader understand your characters and care about their lives when you have to tell a story in just a few dozen pages rather than a few hundred. I highly recommend this anthology of romance short stories, because not only are most of them excellently crafted and beautifully written, the writers donated these stories so that 100% of the profits from this anthology supports RAINN, the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network, a U.S. anti-sexual violence nonprofit. Fittingly, every story in the anthology features a scene in which rain is a key plot point.


Redemption - Ruthie Knox


I love Ruthie Knox. When she's at her best, her writing hits me viscerally somewhere right between my sacrum and my solar plexus, low in my belly, hot and raw and a little bit uncomfortable in its urgency. Redemption is a sad story -- Jessie's business is failing and her home is in foreclosure, and Mike has lost his wife, his business, and even his children to a familial betrayal -- but as the title suggests, together Mike and Jessie may be able to build a better life than what they have lost.


The Heart of It - Molly O'Keefe


I've never read anything by O'Keefe before, but I'm definitely going to check out some of her longer works, because I loved this story. Gabe hires an upscale call girl to help him work through the demons of his childhood sexual abuse. This story gave me a lot to think about. Elena is a prostitute, but she's not at all ashamed or desperate, which I found very refreshing. I also found it intriguing that, where sexual intercourse is commerce and there was no question of whether they'd sleep together, the story still explored issues of consent and boundaries but in the context of emotional rather than sexual intimacy.


Sacrifice - Cecilia Tan


This story felt a little out of place in a collection of mostly contemporary romances, set in tenth century Macedonia, about a young Asian woman sold into slavery by her family and given as a virgin sacrifice to a demigod who must sleep with her in order to end a drought. That sort of thing isn't really my cup of tea, but I was impressed with the way Tan explored issues of consent and honor and power dynamics between two people with no cultural common ground nor even a common language.


Real Feelings - Charlotte Stein


This futuristic romance between a human woman and an android is also a little out of place in a collection of contemporaries. I didn't really buy into the premise (android develops free will), so this story didn't really work for me, but Charlotte Stein's sex scenes are always smoking hot and it was a nice change to see the usual sexual politics/power dynamics gender-flipped so that the heroine, not the hero, was the one to wrestle with the morality of consent.


Rainy Season - Mary Ann Rivers


This story had a mild supernatural streak, in that the heroine, barista Lisa Shirek, can literally see the emotional weather of everyone around her (if a customer has a sick parent at home, Lisa sees the customer sitting by mom's hospital bed; if he has lost a lover, Lisa sees the funeral, etc.). The only person Lisa doesn't see clearly is herself, until she meets Mark, who is a sunbeam in a sea of stormy weather.


The Rain in Spain - Amy Jo Cousins


Ms. Cousins is another new-to-me author whom I'll be checking out after reading this heartrending story of a marriage on the rocks, set in Sevilla, Spain. Magda is a free spirit, chafing with frustration at her husband Javi's more structured life, and she wonders if they've made a mistake in thinking that two such different people can build a future together. I thought this story was beautifully written and bittersweet, and I loved how honestly the couple communicated.


Fitting In - Audra North


Audra North writes about Stas Petrovich, a young man determined to fit in at college after a youth spent as an outsider, cruelly taunted by schoolmates because of his gay, immigrant fathers. He wants nothing to do with Leila, aka The Weird Girl, because she's a socially stigmatized outcast shunned because everyone knows she had an abortion and, horrors!, has the audacity not to curl up and die of shame. I didn't love this story because Stas was kind of a douchenozzle, but I loved the subject matter.


Private Study - Shari Slade


Tess Bell goes off to college determined to shake off the yoke of her overprotective, sexually-repressed upbringing, and boy howdy does she ever: she starts a sex vlog to educate herself, and others, about sexuality. But when one of her classmates discovers the vlog and shatters her anonymity, Tess realizes she might not be ready to face the consequences. I really, really related to Tess, though it's been a long time since my own college days: I totally remembered that exact combination of feminist rage, heady freedom, and the cold wake-up call that comes with the shattering of one's sense of youthful invincibility.


Storm Warning - Alexandra Haughton


This is a second-chance romance: Amy returns home from a failed career as an event planner in the big city to meet up with Tom, the erstwhile first love who'd told her that she didn't have what it takes to make it outside of Texas. Can she forgive him, when circumstances have proven him right? This story didn't really work for me because I found it hard to follow the dialogue and Amy seemed really mercurial in her moods, almost to the point of being irrational... but this was the only story in the collection that I didn't like. 

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
text 2014-07-02 13:56
June 2014 Recap
Hold on Tight - Serena Bell
The King - J.R. Ward
Summer Rain (Love in the Rain) (Volume 1) - Mary Ann Rivers,Ruthie Knox,Molly O'Keefe,Cecilia Tan,Charlotte Stein,Amy Jo Cousins,Audra North,Shari Slade,Alexandra Haughton
Free Falling - S.E. Jakes

Well, hello again! it's "the time of the month" so to speak and actually I feel reluctant to write since I haven't really been reading.. :/ and I think I was mostly disappointed of my reads so... 


I also didn't listen to audio books much, I had planned on listening to the Chronicles of Dragon Lance by Margaret Weiss and Tracey Hickman but I only finished the first one yesterday (I'll write the review in the next few days). I'm not adding this book to the list of this month since I want all three of them together. Yeah they are separated books but actually since it's one adventure I want to relate to all of them together (even if I review them apart)


Favorite Book and Author of the Month: Hold On Tight by Serena Bell

I already raved about this one yesterday on my review. I'm putting this one in both the category of favorite book and favorite author since it surely deserve both! I've read everything Serena published - 3 short novellas and 3 pull books. The novella I REALLY enjoyed (and it's not that easy writing a good short story!) and out of the 3 full novels one was okay and the other two were a BLAST! I'm talking about this one (naturally) and Yours to Keep (which was my favorite book of the month in March). 

Just a few words about this book (though you can read it all in my review). I really enjoyed both main characters. I found them both to be strong and independent, while both having "their issues" I felt that they were inspiring in the way they each dealt with their problems. I loved that neither one needed rescuing though having one another was a blessing to both of them.


Disappointment of the Month: The King (Black Dagger Brotherhood #12)
By J.R. Ward

The King opened up my readings for June and sadly it was quite a disappointment. I knew I might have problems with this one since I'm not really invested in both the main characters but actually the problem was a lot in the plot didn't make sense to me or was played in a way I didn't appreciate. I guess it's hard coming to the 12th book in a series being able to invent as well as to follow the previous plot lines, previous ideas, but I guess, we, the readers are quite selfish we want what we want and have our own expectations of what we want to happen next.

As I've written in the review, though this one was a sort of fail for me I really would recommend this series to any Paranormal Romance lover and I will also not skip on reading the next ones. 


Discovery of the Month: Summer Rain Anthology 
(Alexandra Haughton/Audra North)

I feel kinda strange putting this book in here but what the hell :) thing is, I was really excited when I heard of this book. Mainly because it has a story by Ruthie Knox and by Charlotte Stein but also because I have a few more authors to try out. But except for Ruthie and Charlotte I only enjoyed two others.. Alexandra Haughton's "Storm Warning" and Audra North's "Fitting In". There is no such thing as a "waste of time" reading a book so I take from this one the things I liked, the stories I enjoyed and also two authors I'd like to follow. 


Fun Break of the Month: Free Falling by SE Jakes

Well, putting this book in this category is a little stretch since it's not that it was THAT funny, it's actually an action packed short novella. But I'm putting this one here because even though it was short I really enjoyed the ride. Enjoyed mostly Blue one of the main heroes. I also think this book should "own a slot" here since I didn't like the previous book I've read by SE Jakes - Dirty Deeds (my review) which is a spin off to "Hell of High Water" series which this one (Free Falling) is a part of (though it is a stand alone novella). So grabbing this one and enjoying the read somehow meant more after the disappointment.. I also wanted to read "Daylight Again" Jakes' third novel in "Hell of High Water" but didn't find the time so I postponed it to July. 


I didn't mention in the "Disappointment" section the "Inside Out" series by Lisa Renee Jones though I WAS disappointed with the series, well, with the first book. I had my hopes about this one, heard there's a lot of "vibe" about it but I didn't find it appealing. So even though I meant to read the whole series this month I didn't finish the first one.. (my review). 


So that's it for June. I really hope that FINALLY I'll return to reading as I've planned. It's not about the accomplishment its about the peace of mind and enjoyment I have from reading and I truly miss it. So here for reading amazing stories! Cheers!

Like Reblog Comment
show activity (+)
url 2013-10-05 16:05
Where We Write
The Best Man - Kristan Higgins
Truly Madly Deeply, A Carly Phillips Collection - Carly Phillips
The Unwanted - Shiloh Walker
How to Misbehave - Ruthie Knox
One Sweet Ride - Jaci Burton
Unbound - Cara McKenna
Wild Child - Molly O'Keefe
Neanderthal Seeks Human: A Smart Romance - Penny Reid
It Takes Two to Tangle - Theresa Romain
Sweet Inspiration - Penny Watson

Check out the spaces where some of your favorite Romance Writers create your beloved books.


More posts
Your Dashboard view:
Need help?